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South Island

Jeep & 4WD Tours

  • Guided tours
  • Adventures
  • Day trips
  • Private tours
  • Water activities

Our most recommended South Island Jeep & 4WD Tours

Queenstown Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Discovery Tour

1. Queenstown Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Discovery Tour

Embark on an adventure safari packed with breathtaking scenery, thrilling 4WD action, and LOTR filming locations. Visit the filming locations of Minas Tirith, Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings (Argonath), Gladden Fields, the Ford of Bruinen, and more.  After pick-up from your hotel, journey around the Wakatipu Basin to see The Remarkables, which were used as various mountains throughout the three movies. Travel part way up Queenstown Hill for a bird's-eye view onto Deer Park Heights, which was used for the refugees of Rohan and the Battle of the Wargs scenes. From the viewpoint, head to Kawarau Gorge where the filming took place for the Argonath - 'Pillars of the Kings'. After Kawarau Gorge, travel to Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring scene at Gladden Fields was shot. Near Arrowtown, you will experience a true off-road adventure. Following a historic gold mining road up the Arrow River, cross the river many times to get to the Ford of Bruinen. Here you can indulge in a refreshing afternoon tea and try your hand at a spot of gold panning. From Arrowtown, travel to the entrance of Skippers Canyon for spectacular panoramic views of the Wakatipu Basin and into the Canyon.

Glenorchy Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Tour

2. Glenorchy Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Tour

If your main focus is to see as many Lord of the Rings locations as possible, then this is the tour for you! Head to Glenorchy on a scenic drive toward Paradise Valley, where Lord of the Rings and other movies were filmed. After pick-up from your hotel, set off on an adventure safari packed with breathtaking scenery and Lord of the Rings filming locations. Journey from Queenstown to Glenorchy, stopping at breath-taking viewpoints for mountain and forest views along the shore of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley.  En route from Glenorchy, follow the Dart River to the spectacular filming location for Isengard, a location offering stunning views of Mt Earnslaw. Head to Paradise discover the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and heading towards Queenstown, you will stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp. You'll also visit gorgeous locations from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Queenstown: 360-Degree UTV Tour

3. Queenstown: 360-Degree UTV Tour

Experience a scenic adventure ride, as you venture high above Queenstown in a “Mule”  (a purpose built and powerful UTV that gives you unobstructed views). You can capture all 360 degrees of Queenstown from an exclusively accessed high-country sheep station, Queenstown Hill. At this location, you will discover more than 25 kilometers of varied trails to play on. You can go off-road, and explore the terrain with your expert driver guide & soak up the commentary. You will ride high and above Queenstown, turning up your "thrillometor" whilst also riding in safety and comfort. Setting your camera to panorama, you will be able to capture uninterrupted 360-degree views, as you challenge the photographer in yourself. Throughout the station, you can go off-road and explore the terrain with your expert driver/guide. There will be plenty of stops to savor the best views of Queenstown and its surrounds, as you listen to your knowledge guide's commentary about the European and Maori history of the area, along with tales of the Gold Rush, and royals.

From Queenstown: Skippers Canyon 4-Wheel-Drive Tour

4. From Queenstown: Skippers Canyon 4-Wheel-Drive Tour

Take a drive through the historic Skippers Canyon on this half-day heritage adventure along the rugged and treacherous Skippers road. While your guide navigates this awe-inspiring canyon, visit many historic sites such as the Skippers suspension bridge and the township of Skippers. In this town long since abandoned, discover the many original buildings waiting for exploration. Visit the restored schoolhouse and gain an insight into the local heritage of life in this tough environment through photographs and artifacts from the early days of the settlement. On your return to Queenstown, stop to try your hand at gold panning in one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world.  Created by being hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley and heavily featured in "The Lord of the Rings," British Automobile Association voted Skippers Canyon road as one of the 25 most scenic roads in the world.  

Queenstown: Half-Day Guided Ebike Wine Tour

5. Queenstown: Half-Day Guided Ebike Wine Tour

This half-day adventure begins from the town center and transfers you to Arrowtown. From there you will set off with a local guide and a fully kitted ebike for a one-of-a-kind ride through the Wakatipu Basin. This gentle track winds its way through quiet river valleys, down quaint country lanes, and over impressive suspension bridges. As you enter the Gibbston Valley, enjoy a break at the historic Kawarau Bridge and visit the World Home of Bungy. The ride continues along the strikingly blue Kawarau River and through lush vineyards. The reward comes at the Kinross Cellar door where you will end the day sipping boutique Gibbston wines. The trail is easy and hard-packed, perfect to explore on an ebike. Unique in Queenstown, these bikes are built to keep the trip scenic, comfortable, and fun. The ebikes are “Dutch Style”; upright with a taller frame and a riding position that gives greater comfort and visibility. They are easy to ride, simple to operate, and allow for as much or as little effort as the rider wants to exert. They are also fitted with panniers for gear and any purchases along the way. Mudguards to keep the rider clean and fresh. This guided tour covers all the bases: a fully kitted ebike with panniers, water, snacks, wine tasting, guide, and vehicle support at designated points along the trail. This tour is perfect for those who want to get out and get active (but not too active) and finish the day tasting some delicious regional wines.

Wanaka: Mount Burke 4x4 Explorer and Boat Tour

6. Wanaka: Mount Burke 4x4 Explorer and Boat Tour

Climb aboard a water taxi and cross Lake Wanaka towards the head of Stevenson’s arm. Gaze at the constantly changing vista of steep walls and alpine peaks. Learn about the fascinating history of this area devoid of people. Venture past Stevenson’s Island and disembark at the foot of Mount Burke. Board a 4x4 vehicle with your guide, and climb high above the lake. Take in the expansive panorama of crystal clear water and the rugged summits of Mount Aspiring National Park. Breathe in the quiet solitude of Wanaka. Hear stories of the early settlers who sought farmland, gold, and a better life in New Zealand. Enjoy a gourmet open-air picnic. Choose between a morning tea menu of fruit and muffins with tea and coffee, or an afternoon menu of fruit, cheese and crackers and local wine (red, white, or rose). Of course, you can choose to have wine in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, or to enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage. The choice is yours.

Macetown: Gold Heritage 4WD Tour

7. Macetown: Gold Heritage 4WD Tour

Embark on a true 4×4 off-road adventure that explores the historic gold mining town of Macetown. Ride the rugged road in the safety of a 4×4 that ensures excitement and adventure. Immerse yourself in the history of this precious region by panning for gold as your knowledgeable guides explain the hardship and exhilaration these miners faced. Depart from Queenstown and head towards Arrowtown. See the historic Chinese Settlers Village and the filming location of the Ford of Bruinen in the Lord of the Rings. Continue on towards Macetown and cross the Arrow River some 25 times before reaching Macetown. On the Macetown track, pass through Soho Creek and Britannia Terrace. Upon arrival in Macetown, visit the heritage site of Smith’s Bakehouse, which has recently been restored by the Department of Conservation. Explore the gold mining settlement and learn the history of Needham’s Cottage. Not far beyond Macetown is Anderson’s Battery, the only stamping battery with an iron frame in Otago. Then, make your way back to Arrowtown along the Macetown Track. Try your hand at gold panning on the Arrow River and get a sense of the excitement that drew many people to this area in search of their fortune.

Queenstown: Full-Day Lord of Rings Tour with Lunch

8. Queenstown: Full-Day Lord of Rings Tour with Lunch

Start with pickup from your hotel in Queenstown and travel west along Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy and Paradise. Discover a wide variety of filming locations throughout the tour with your expert guide. Bring the films to life with a variety of movie props you can use to recreate movie scenes at the filming locations. Enjoy photo stops in the Paradise region of Mount Aspiring National Park, with some short walks on easy trails. Explore the Forest of Middle Earth and discover the settings for scenes of Lothlórien. Stand on the Isengard Lookout and admire the scenic views of the area. Return to Queenstown for lunch at a local café, before heading east of the city for the afternoon portion of the tour. Discover Gibbston and Arrowtown and visit the settings for Gladden Fields and The Pillars of the Kings. Pan for elven gold in the river, and journey along a portion of the scenic Skippers Canyon Road, which was the setting for scenes featuring The Ford of Bruinen. Enjoy the spectacular scenic views over the Wakatipu Basin throughout the tour, with drop-off back in Queenstown in the evening.

Queenstown: Central Otago Wine Tour by Private Helicopter

9. Queenstown: Central Otago Wine Tour by Private Helicopter

Enjoy a day of luxury on this exclusive helicopter winery tour in Central Otago. Start your day with a pickup from your Queenstown accommodation in a private luxury vehicle. Your first stop is the Gibbston Valley Winery for a private wine tasting, wine cave and winery tour, and light nibbles. Then, embark on a scenic helicopter flight over the Cromwell Basin with an Alpine landing. Next, visit the Scott Base Winery to taste a flight of 5 wines from the whiteboard options. You'll be traveling between the vineyards in a chauffeured, open-top Jeep.  Enjoy a 2-course à la carte lunch at Carrick Winery, with a glass of Bannockburn Estate wine. Next stop is Cloudy Bay Winery for a private wine tasting experience with a Cloudy Bay ambassador. Next is Misha's Vineyard and Tasting Room to taste 5 wines from the 12 wines on offer. Then enjoy a second scenic helicopter flight from the Cromwell Basin through the Kawarau Gorge to Gibbston. Final stop is Mt Rosa Wines, where you will take part in one last wine tasting experience. After a good laugh with the owners, you will be driven back to your accommodation in Queenstown.

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Other Sightseeing Options in South Island

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What people are saying about South Island

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 27 reviews

We had the best guide!! He had so much enthusiasm and absolutely loves what he does. A fun filled half day. We saw the back drops of scenes used in filming the LOTR films, drove on an old gold mining road, drove on an old one lane gold mining equipment road through the mountains, panned for gold, and had morning tea riverside. We learned so much! Best half day tour of our month long trip.

We had a great guide, Peter, who made it fun for my son without freaking me out too much. We stopped at a lot of lookouts for photos and Peter's technology skills are really good so he took some amazing shots of my son in action.

We had Peter as our tour guide and we couldn’t have had a better day. Peter was so informative and we had a very fun and amazing time. Will definitely be coming back for another tour. Highly recommend.

Breathtaking views and such a fun way to explore the Queenstown area, Our Tour guide Jenny was fantastic! Such a fantastic trip, one that we will never forget

Loved the passionate, knowledgeable and easy going tour guide, Charlie. Skipper, Crystal got us safely there and back. Magnificent day, well worth it.